The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators said Wednesday that they have launched a national Web-based mortgage licensing registry. Called, creatively enough, the National Mortgage Licensing System, the new registry has the initial participation of seven states: Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York and Rhode Island. The CSBS said it expects all 50 states to transition onto the platform, with more than 500,000 company and professional licensees in the registry. Modeled upon the registry used to regulate securities brokers and dealers, the sponsors behind the system said in a press statement that they believe the new registry is an important step to coordinate mortgage industry regulation across state lines. The move comes as federal legislators look to issue increasingly stringent policies regarding primary and secondary market activities in mortgage banking. "This nationwide system will dramatically change the way the mortgage industry is regulated and will drive standardization of state licensing and lending requirements," said Bill Matthews, president of State Regulatory Registry LLC, CSBS's subsidiary that operates NMLS. "A major goal of NMLS is to enhance accountability among mortgage brokers and non-depository lenders by having one system, accessible by all state regulators, that tracks licensure, affiliations, employment history and/or enforcement actions for affected parties," he noted. The registry is accessible at